My partner and I had just returned from what we both deemed as the best vacation ever. A glorious tropical island that will forever be the home of our last days together, emblazoned in my heart and mind.
Despite getting home in the wee hours of the morning, we rose early to begin planning our day, After showering, my love suggested we go back to bed, we had no commitments – other than to prepare ourselves for reentry into the coming week – so quickly we returned to the warm haven of our slumber.
We lay in bed, in each other’s arms noticing and comparing the sounds outside our home in Massachusetts, to the ones we left behind on the Island of Vieques, PR.
Rushing traffic replaced the call of a peacock in love. I can still hear him recreating the call and kissing me as he did so.
Effortlessly and quickly we drifted off to sleep.
I awoke about an hour and a half later feeling refreshed and ready to enjoy the day that was to be filled with a golf lesson and perhaps laundry.
I tickled him and whispered that we were now being lazy.
He didn’t respond.
I leaned up onto my elbow to kiss his cheek to wake him up, but my beloved was gone.
Every cell in my body still tightens and forever I will feel and see the trauma of that morning as long as I live on this earth.
Of that reality.
The hours, days and weeks that followed were a blur. A haze of pain and confusion, of debilitating and inconsolable shock kept me lost in the darkness.
My love, my person, the one with whom I lived in a bubble of bliss was gone and my only focus was to be with him, wherever he was. I spent any energy I had, any thoughts I could formulate centered around joining him.
My life, my children, my grandchildren all became nonexistent.
Debilitating grief swallowed me whole.
There was no hope.
The darkness was so dark that I knew I would never ever find my way home again. I wanted desperately to be dead.
But I didn’t die and I had no idea what lay ahead for me on this journey.
In the darkest of moments, when as I imagined, my foot hit the bottom of the ocean floor – it felt like I was drowning, I had a choice to stay there – and allow the black cold water to fill my lungs and consume me in the pain.
Or to push off the ocean floor and begin my journey to the glimmer of light that was barely recognizable very high above me.
I painfully and barely pushed up toward the light.
That light was Love.
Love saved me in that moment.
My love for him and his for me. I reached for him in the light of love. In the darkest hour of the longest night, love permeated every cell of my being.
It was as though it pulled back the veil on the power of the love that we had shared. It reminded me of the love I had for my children, my grandchildren and my family and friends.
But most of all it showed me the love I had for myself.
There was more to this story and I needed to find my way through by embracing grief as my new lifelong companion and along with Love, we would together, find a way home, back to a different version of myself.
And so my journey began.
I embraced the pain rather than running from it and as I did so, grief began to teach me. Lessons that I am eternally grateful for.
The gift of being present in this moment, the power of gratitude and most of all seeing the world through the lens of Love.
Painfully and with sometimes moments of incredible uncertainty that I still face to this day, I reached with my heart to a part of myself where I had never been.
Where he now existed.
A place where death is as natural as breathing.
Where our breathe is what grounds us in this human experience.
Grief began to share its incredible and powerful story of life. It helped me to understand that we are impermanent. That control is an illusion. That this moment is all that we have.
It breathed into me the knowing that Love is all there is.
My view of all things was altered.
The love of this man was as powerful in life as it was in death.
I didn’t die ~ for the first time in my life, I was very much alive, because of death.
Always Choose Love.